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Parkway House

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1952–1953, Elizabeth Fleisher and Gabriel Roth. 2201 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • (Photo by Andrew Hope)

The apartment houses along the northern edge of Benjamin Franklin Parkway form a modernist response to the Beaux-Arts civic buildings below. The Parkway House is exceptionally dynamic, the splayed Y of its plan maximizing light, air, and views for the apartments. At the same time, its dark brick hue and modern detailing recall Raymond Hood's New York City work of the 1930s, marrying streamlining and International Style asceticism. It makes a lively juxtaposition with the nearby Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue (1959–1963, Samuel Oshiver), which brings the energy of Morris Lapidus's Miami and New York City high-rises to the Parkway. Unlike Oshiver's earlier apartment houses on Rittenhouse Square, The Philadelphian explicitly addresses the role of the automobile by placing a grand porte-cochere at its center. The result is unusually frisky even in a neighborhood of jaunty apartment houses, such as Paul P. Cret's and Aaron Colish's 2601 Pennsylvania Avenue, whose yellow brick with vertical accents of brown brick and chrome expresses its 1930s construction date.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Parkway House", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 114-115.

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